Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley's debut collection explores the experience of living as a Native American in today's America. From Nippon refugee who America caged. From Onondaga son who America imprisoned, who they couldn't board into whiteness. From Rust Belt trailers. From two wheelbarrow factory workers. From PA to LA to MIA to out here in West Baltimore. From counting every penny to carving the love of poems. From unheard prayers & these answered dreams. We are here. I am here. I am alive. Colonize me.
"Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley has an athlete's feel for moving through poems. Just as the reader settles into an image, Kingsley pivots and plots a new course. In the process we learn to let go of our assumptions about who this poet might be, and instead read in awe at the play. These poems play with such fervor that every reading reveals another detail, another escape hatch Kingsley has left for us to find. I love these poems and their many voices. I love their contradictions. I love their energy. Read COLONIZE ME and then read it again."—José Olivarez
Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley is not the Ben Kingsley best known for his Academy Award-winning role as Mahatma Gandi. This Ben is a touch less famous, having not acted since his third-grade debut as the Undertaker in Music Man. Affrilachian author and Kundiman alum, Ben is currently the 22nd Tickner Writing Fellow and recipient of a Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship. He belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York. His poems are found in Best New Poets 2017 (Ed. Natalie Diaz), Native Voices: Indigenous Poetry from North America, and Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, and in many journals including American Indian Culture and Research, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Oxford American, and Tin House. His books include COLONIZE ME (Saturnalia Books, 2019) and NOT YOUR MAMA'S MELTING POT (The Backwaters Press, 2018).
Colonize Me by Benjamin Naka-Hasebe Kingsley
Saturnalia Books 2019